4 Steps to a Successful Cannabis Marketing Strategy
The fundamentals of marketing concepts are crucial, and you need them in place before you can build your cannabis brand.
- Now’s a great time to build and market your cannabis business, but you should have a cannabis marketing plan before you start moving.
- You need a viable business idea before you even get started – that means deciding what pain point you’re going to fix and how.
- A great mission statement helps keep you on track with your brand’s purpose, whatever that is.
- Designing buyer personas gives you a framework for targeting your ideal customer and addressing their problems, wants, and needs.
- Content quality matters, so make sure you’re not putting out mediocre cannabis content for your audience.
So, you’re considering breaking into the cannabis industry? The time has never been better!
The cannabis market is exploding right now, especially as the space continues to grow and evolve. Global cannabis sales reached $16.5 billion in 2022, making industry growth even faster than in the dot-com era. Nearly 97% of that share belongs to North America!
That said, it takes more than just a passion for the product and the drive to sell it to have a successful business in the cannabis industry. Sure, generating profits is a common goal among almost all cannapreneurs, but making money should be viewed as a byproduct of a strategic cannabis marketing master plan.
Thriving cannabis brands have at least one thing in common, and "if you want to take a bite out of the cannabis apple, then you need to design your roadmap to success before anything else." Without it, you won’t know your own brand, and you won’t know your audience, two costly and dreaded mistakes.
Before building your cannabis brand, you should consider these marketing fundamentals:
1. Come up with a viable business idea
Before anything else, you need to figure out which part of the industry you want to go into. Educate yourself on the different cannabis sectors and then choose the one that is right for you. It’s easy to feel boxed in by the idea of opening a dispensary or starting a grow operation, but there is lots of room to be innovative here.
"Innovation starts with problem-solving. Coming up with the perfect product idea goes way beyond picking a passion of yours" (it’s great that you love making tasty edibles, but you have to differentiate yourself). You have to spot a problem you want to solve and then come up with the perfect solution.
For instance, if you see that not enough edibles on the market come in specific strains to help ease anxiety and stress, then there’s the problem and gap that you need to solve.
In any event, your business idea should be original, offer a distinctive solution, and most importantly, you need to ensure that it is within the bounds of the law. You’d be surprised at how many innovative ideas don’t make it past their infancy because they are not supported by the current legal structure.
That said, state and federal laws surrounding marijuana products are always changing, so make sure to meet with a lawyer and see whether your idea is viable.
2. Create a mission statement
Now that you have a viable idea, it’s time to create your mission statement. Your mission statement should get to the root of your company’s purpose, including what you’re trying to do and why and how you’re doing it.
A well-worded mission statement has the ability to align everyone involved toward the same objectives, while also providing a yellow brick road to your brand identity if your company gets off track. Without it, you may find yourself directionless and distracted in a crowded industry.
To clearly define your company’s mission, you’ll want to answer these questions:
- What problem does your company solve?
- How does your company solve it?
- Why does your company want to solve it?
For example, The National Cannabis Industry Association’s mission statement is as follows:
“To promote the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry and work for a favorable social, economic, and legal environment for that industry in the United States.”
It’s short and to the point, and it offers a problem (the cannabis industry needs to grow in a way that promotes a responsible environment) and what they’re doing about it (promoting the market and working for it).
3. Design buyer personas
Marketing without buyer personas is like trying to put together IKEA furniture without directions. You’re bound to get into trouble!
Personas are the basis for all viable marketing strategies and the pillars that support any successful campaign. You have to know who you’re selling your product to – otherwise, how do you even know you’re targeting an audience who wants your solution?
Unfortunately, some unprepared cannabis brands aren’t using personas to inform their marketing efforts. "Going without a persona is effectively like throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks." It’s messy and wasteful!
Marijuana users come in all different shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to cannabis customers, so you need to create persona-based campaigns if you want to get their attention.
First, you need to create your buyer profiles. These are realistic descriptions of the hypothetical people that you want your campaigns to reach. Each persona should include a bio including things like:
- Personal interests
- Pain points
- Type of marijuana user (medical or recreational)
Once you have defined your target audiences, you can create content that speaks directly to these people’s needs and interests.
Having some accurate personas on hand will help you build a strong brand from the ground up, and it lets you make sure you’re targeting your solutions to the right pain points (and the right people!).
Why your cannabis content has to be high quality
Like any marketing roadmap, your cannabis marketing strategy relies on fantastic quality content to get the ball rolling and get successful results.
Your leads want to know that you care about them, and you simply can’t waste their valuable time by putting out content that’s mediocre. Whether you’re writing blog posts, drafting up eBooks, or simply creating a Google ad, every single word matters and must deliver value!
ContentBacon knows that you wear enough hats without adding “cannabis writer” to the stack, so we’ll make it easy for you. Our expert content marketing team includes strategists, editors, and writers who have delved deep into the world of cannabis, so you can rest easy knowing they’ll handle your project with ease.
Learn more about kickass cannabis marketing by checking out our Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Marketing. We’ll show you how to get the right word out about your cannabis company!
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